A New York federal judge has preliminarily approved Pfizer Inc.’s $486 million settlement resolving long-running multidistrict litigation (MDL) accusing the company of misleading investors about the alleged risks of its pain treatments Celebrex and Bextra. A final approval hearing was set for Dec. 21. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain also said that in light of the extensive effort to notify potential class members as part of the class certification process, it’s unnecessary to give people further opportunity to exclude themselves from the class. Furthermore, any person opting out would appear to be time-barred from suing Pfizer for the claims released by the settlement, the judge said.
The underlying suit alleged that the company and its executives, including former CEO Henry McKinnell, knew that drug safety studies conducted between 1998 and 2004 showed Celebrex and Bextra posed serious cardiovascular risks, but hid the information from the public. A consolidated class action complaint was filed in February 2006, and, in July 2012, Judge Swain certified a class led by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.
It’s believed this settlement is likely among the last major payments Pfizer will make over the two drugs. It previously paid $894 million to settle product liability and consumer fraud suits brought by drug users and state attorneys general; $1 billion to settle civil allegations it fraudulently promoted and marketed Bextra; and a $1.3 billion criminal fine – at the time the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the U.S. – for the same fraudulent misbranding.
The investors are represented by Gregory P. Joseph, Douglas J. Pepe and Sandra M. Lipsman of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC; Jay W. Eisenhofer, Richard S. Schiffrin, James J. Sabella, Charles T. Caliendo, Brenda F. Szydlo, Geoffrey C. Jarvis and Mary S. Thomas of Grant & Eisenhofer PA; Jonathan S. Massey of Massey & Gail LLP; and David Kessler, Andrew L. Zivitz, Matthew L. Mustokoff and Michelle M. Newcomer of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP. The case is In re: Pfizer Securities Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.